She came up to me as usual, full of curiosity and mischief, and then promptly turned around. My hand went to the little divot between her sacrum and tail head. I gently started tracing very light circles there. Immediately her eyes began to close to half mast and she let out a sigh. I felt a lot of heat coming from this spot. Too much heat it seemed, although I don't know why I felt/thought that. I began to bring in cool energy and mix it with the heat by going in a counter clockwise motion. "I really need to get a book on equine acupressure points," I thought. My hands intuitively seem to know where to go on a horse (and on people) and I often find these 'buttons' that are major release points. I'm sure the horses are also guiding me. Yup. Definitely sure about that. Goldie agreed and backed up so that her head was now next to my belly.
Goldie is a challenging little mare. Highly sensitive, emotional, reactive and quick/athletic she's usually quick to come into my space. This is not something I tend to welcome from horses that I don't know well. It tends to unnerve, frustrate and irritate me and causes me to push them right back out of my space. It's a safety reflex I guess, and while it can seem a little 'in their face' I'm learning to trust it more, especially with pushy and disrespectful horses. I would categorize Goldie this way, although in the past couple of months, thanks to my askng her to back up as a first reflex rather than crowding me, she's made big strides in her politeness. I don't hesitate to let her know when she is being respectful. I reward it often.
I moved to a picturesque piece of property near the clear, winding Slocan River this past fall with my old gelding Prowler. Jin, sleeping in the photo above, was Prow's herd mate for the first 4 months and the two of them got on quite well. Jin is a very sweet but mentally and physically tense little mare. I think she's what the Parelli's would classify as a right brain introvert as her movements are quite stilted and choppy. She's very confident with horses and on her own, but with humans it's a very different story. I love her little nickers of hello and I came to love her quickly.
In November, two of Jin's herd mates came home from pasture. Goldie (standing with nose over Jin) is a highly sensitive, overly hormonal, very athletic, clever and gorgeous little mare. She's been problematic for Prow since their first encounter and often goes after him. Sadly, she doesn't seem to want to give him a break. It's normal to see her keeping him at least 50 ft away when the three girls are napping together. So the picture above was a rare and precious scene this morning.
Spirit is the little old mare on the far right. At about 20-22 years old she's not a happy girl. Her eyes are very hard, (this often indicates pain), and her patience is VERY short. So short in fact that I got a wallop of a kick from her one morning while feeding mash and not paying enough attention to my position (more on this in an upcoming blog entry).
I'm Jai Sequoia. I live in the spectacular mountains of the West Kootenays in beautiful British Columbia. Read more